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|27. Disorders of the Immune System: Autoimmune Disease|
Sometimes the immune system's recognition apparatus breaks down, and the body begins to manufacture antibodies and T cells directed against the body's own cells and organs.
Such cells and autoantibodies, as they are known, contribute to many diseases. For instance, T cells that attack pancreas cells contribute to diabetes, while an autoantibody known as rheumatoid factor is common in persons with rheumatoid arthritis.